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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 2079..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

be held back; it should continue. There will always be work to do. I think it is very important that this place agree on this and I would hope that no-one would have any difficulty with the amendment, as presented. I think it is important that we also make sure that the work we do and the way we do it keep up with advances in technology. As new mediums that have a public benefit appear there will always be somebody who will use them in a way not intended by the inventor. In that regard I think we all have to make sure we keep up to speed and that we look at the way new forms of technology are used.

This is a reasonable approach. The member has been asked to table some documents. He has tabled the documents that are in his possession and which he has control over. He has complied with the request of the Assembly, but also put forward a way forward for all of us so that these lamentable activities do not happen again.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.29): We have this hastily cobbled together amendment from the Leader of the Opposition. This was tabled two and half hours ago. The Liberal Party have been aware of it for a reasonable period of time, but their amendment shows just how rushed and ill-thought through their approach has been on this matter from day one. The amendment does not even make any sense. Clearly, they have not read the motion because, if they had, they would have recognised that you cannot replace all words after "this Assembly"because those words are not in the motion. I invite the Leader of the Opposition to redraft his amendment so it actually makes sense.

The real issue here is how sincere and how credible is the Leader of the Opposition's response to this disgraceful episode. He has said to the media and to the Canberra community that this matter has been investigated, that he cannot find any proof of Liberal Party involvement and people should just trust his word. Well, we do not trust his word. We want him to substantiate his claim. The onus is on him to demonstrate that members of the Liberal Party were not involved in the creation of this hateful, scurrilous and defamatory website. The onus is on him.

It beggars belief that there is no substantive record that exists that he can produce that demonstrates he has taken this issue seriously. It beggars belief. He either is not serious and he thinks this is all some sort of a joke that he can hopefully brush off or he has not fully disclosed the process that the Liberal Party has gone through. So whilst the substantive terms of the amendment are not unacceptable—there are elements that we can accept—the Leader of the Opposition needs to draft it in such a way that it recognises substantive elements of my motion.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2 pm.


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